Experts to Discuss Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability

14 November 2019

Lusaka — The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will, in collaboration with the Government of Namibia, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, convene a high-level policy dialogue on the "The Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability" from the 18 - 19 November 2019 in Windhoek, Namibia.

The meeting is a follow-up to a study on the 'Blue Economy, Inclusive Industrialization and Economic Development in Southern Africa' reviewed at the Twenty Fourth Session of Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) of Southern Africa Meeting in Mauritius, 18-21 September 2018.

The dialogue will specifically focus on the current threats to the blue economy arising from climate change and environmental issues and challenges, which pose serious risks to the viability, sustainability and economic value of the ocean economy.

Furthermore, the dialogue will also review some of the measures that will enable coastal and small island States to cope effectively, creatively and sustainably with environmental changes as well mitigating impacts and threats to marine ecosystems and coastal resources e.g. resilience building, climate financing, capacity building, and collaboration.

The delegates will discuss the mainstreaming of climate change and environmental sustainability dimensions into existing and new blue economy sub-regional and national policies and plans and relevant legislation to realize the full potential of the blue economy focusing on strategies for integrating weather and climate information and services into blue economy governance; integration of climate change impacts into national investment planning across all sectors and ministries - increasing investments in climate and environmental information services, among others.

Speaking ahead of the dialogue, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Director for the Southern Africa (SRO SA), Said Adejumobi emphasized that "Africa stands to reap maximum benefits of utilizing its aquatic and marine ecosystems and associated resources for sustainable socio-economic development. In doing so, it is important to address the threats and challenges to our marine ecosystem arising from climate change and man-made environmental pressures and challenges including the dumping of plastic wastes in the ocean and pollution".

"The ECA Blue Economy Handbook launched in 2016, which advocates for a multi-sectoral approach to the development of the blue economy and the report of the ICE of Southern Africa of 2018 provide good background materials in charting a new discourse on the blue economy in the region", Adejumobi added.

Participants will include high-level officials from Angola, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles and South Africa and representatives of EAC, IGAD, IOC, IORA, COMESA and SADC Secretariats. Representatives from other UN agencies, the AU Commission, the AfDB, Civil Society Organizations, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, academia, research institutions as well as the private sector, professional organizations and other ECA divisions among others will also participate in the dialogue.

Issued by:

Communications Section

Economic Commission for Africa

PO Box 3001

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia

Tel: +251 11 551 5826

E-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org

Media Contacts:

Bedson Nyoni

Senior Information Management Assistant

Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

Sub Regional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA)

P.O.Box 30647

Lusaka, Zambia

Mobile: +260 977 845 948

Email: nyonib@un.org

Rauna Kalola

Public Relation Officer

Government of Namibia,

Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources

Private Bag 13355

Brendan Simbwaye Square, Block C

Corner of Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda and Goethe Street

Email: Rauna.Kalola@mfmr.gov.na

Mobile: +264 816 091 901

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